Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Minnesota Rural Urban Partnering

This comes from the Minnesota Rural Partners Round-Up, a newsletter published from Minnesota Rural Partners, Inc. Thought you might find it interesting.
ACROSS THE FIELD - Rural-Urban Partnering Steering Committee Launched
by Emily Kissane
A new collaboration kicked off on October 1 with the first meeting of the Minnesota Rural Urban Partnering Steering Committee. The formation of the steering committee is part of a larger project begun last October aimed at strengthening rural-urban connections and understanding. A mapping systems and report on rural urban connections in education, workforce, and enterprise is also underway.

When plans for the possible formation of a Rural Urban Partnering Council were announced during the June 9-10 Symposium on Small Towns and Rural-Urban Gathering at the University of Minnesota Morris, 20 people from across the state generously volunteered to serve as a steering committee. The Steering Committee has geographic diversity and represents a variety of sectors, including community development, business, economic development, higher education, information services, healthcare and state government.

Committee members gave a variety of reasons for wanting to be involved in shaping a Partnering Council. From addressing the growing divide between rural and urban policymakers, to helping people understand the economic interdependence of rural and urban Minnesota, to seeing the need for innovative ways for rural and urban youth to connect, the group viewed rural-urban partnering as a more comprehensive frame for statewide discussions and decision-making on a wide range of important issues that are affecting Minnesota’s future.

Over the next few weeks, Steering Committee members will poll their individual networks for reactions to the idea of a Rural Urban Partnering Council and for ideas about possible priorities and goals. The Committee will then meet to review feedback and incorporate these ideas into the Partnering Council’s structure and agenda. We will keep you posted on these discussions. You can also check on the rural urban partnering project at

Many thanks to Steering Committee members for their enthusiasm and support for this project and to the William Mitchell College of Law for hosting the meeting.

Julie Vreeland, NRS, Brainerd

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